The Six Best Barbecue Restaurants in San Antonio

2M Smokehouse

The city’s best barbecue spot continues to draw crowds to its Southeast Side location, and for good reason. Pitmaster Esaul Ramos Jr. received his second, well-deserved James Beard nomination as Best Chef: Texas this year. Simply put, his menu is outstanding. The nearly perfect brisket, impeccable housemade sausage, memorable sides and outstanding pastries from Grecia Ramos (Esaul’s wife) make this the first stop on any serious barbecue lover’s list. Plan a special trip on the first Sunday of every month for barbacoa. 2731 S. W.W. White Road, 210-885-9352

 

Two Bros. BBQ Market

From the time it opened in 2009, the city’s first chef-driven barbecue spot has drawn crowds for its well-balanced meats and elevated touches, like pinto beans with bacon and peaches, and an espresso-in- fused barbecue sauce. Plus, there’s an outdoor play area to keep the kids entertained. Brothers Jason and Jake Dady have received acclaim over the years, and they have never slipped. Along with your meat, make sure to order jalapeño poppers and fried pies. 12656 West Ave., 210-496-0222

 

Smoke Shack

Perhaps the most impressive part of this hotspot across from the Witte Museum is the consistency in its dishes as it serves crowds that file in throughout the day. Tender pork ribs maintain their texture to pull away without falling off the bone, while the turkey and chicken more than hold their own on the menu and brisket and pulled pork anchor the rest of the meat options. Check out the tangy vinegar coleslaw with chunks of feta cheese and try the brisket grilled cheese sandwich when you’re in the mood for lunch. 3714 Broadway, 210-957-1430

 

 

BBQ Life By Chris

Edward and Waldean Ashford Ed’s Smok-N-Q began its life in a former Sonic Drive-In on South W.W. White Road. When they moved to a new location, their son, Chris, took over the building and rechristened it BBQ Life by Chris, which has become a destination spot for the rest of the city. Chicken quarters sing sweetly, while tender, juicy brisket and pork ribs offer just the right amount of smoke, and sandwiches are big and satisfying. When was the last time you had macaroni salad? It’s tangy and delicious here. 902 S. W.W. White Road, 210-359-1511

 

South BBQ & Kitchen

You can’t go wrong with the brisket, pulled pork, chicken legs and pork ribs, and those alone are worth the trip to this South Side spot. Now add clever and delicious sides like a green bean salad with cotija cheese, memorable borracho beans, creamed corn with a Mexican twist, and terrific housemade flour tortillas and you have a barbecue destination that’s a must for any serious San Antonio diner. Whether the items enjoy their showcase in combo plates, sandwiches or tacos, they succeed brilliantly. Can’t make it to Mission Road? They also have a limited menu at Weathered Souls Brewing Co. 2011 Mission Road, 210-437-0070

 

DSCF4327

 

Barbecue Station

Even if you go in for just a few minutes to pick up a takeout order, you will come out smelling of hardy wood smoke. That’s not a bad thing. Barbecue Station brings the feel of a small-town joint that’s been around for generations, even if its history only goes back to the early 1990s, and we love it. On a menu of all-around strong performers, brisket, ribs and chicken shine brightest. This is old-school Texas barbecue done right. 1610 N.E. Loop 410, 210-824-9191